Springfield leader not selected for top education job

The Ohio State Board of Education selected Paolo DeMaria as the new state superintendent Wednesday in a unanimous 19-0 vote.

DeMaria, a former adviser to governors from both the Republican and Democratic party, will replace Richard Ross, who retired at the end of December.

David Estrop, former Springfield City School District superintendent, was one of eight finalists for the job but wasn’t selected for the position.

The state superintendent serves as the CEO for the Ohio Department of Education. The position oversees district, charter and vocational schools.

Estrop retired in 2015 after six years leading the Springfield district. He’s since formed a consulting business, Estrop Consulting. He couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.

State board members welcomed DeMaria with a standing ovation after the vote Wednesday. Two board members said they prayed Wednesday’s vote would be unanimous.

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute said in a news release that DeMaria was a good choice for the job. The Fordham Institute is an education advocacy group.

“The Ohio Department of Education has experienced several leadership changes in the past few years and, given the challenges facing K-12 public schools, a strong and experienced leader is needed,” Chad L. Aldis, vice president for Ohio policy and advocacy at the organization, said in a news release.

Although he wasn’t ultimately chosen for the post, Estrop previously told the Springfield News-Sun he was honored to be among the eight finalists who were interviewed for the job. In all, the state board received 44 applications for the position.

If chosen for the job, Estrop had said two of his key areas for improvement would have been to improve quality in early childhood learning, and to increase degree and credential attainment by Ohio students.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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